From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Butternut Squash, Carrots, Lettuce Heads, Braising Greens, Arugula, Brussels Sprouts Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, Green Onions, Herb Bunch and Cilantro
Coming Soon…Green Beans and Kale
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week’s freezing temperatures brought the end to our summer vegetables. Fortunately, our winters are mild enough to allow us to grow and harvest all year round. We did plant a row of green beans that hopefully will survive the freeze and be ready to pick next week. I’ll keep everyone posted. This week’s recipe I included is inspired by a recipe I found from the Splendid Table, one of the premier food radio shows, now available as a podcast. This soup combines the Mediterranean flavors of lemon and cumin. If you don’t have cumin seeds, you could substitute 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, but it’s not quite the same. They originally made the soup with kale, but our Brussels sprouts greens are a good substitute.
Sweet Potato – Kale Soup with Cumin and Lemon
(inspired by, The Splendid Table)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbs. cumin seed
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 cups cubed sweet potatoes,
3-4 cups chopped Brussels sprout leaves
2 & 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
4 green onions, sliced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
fresh ground black pepper
1-2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin seed, red pepper flakes and salt, cooking for about 3 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the sweet potatoes and broth or water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, add the Brussels sprouts greens and cook for 5 more minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft. Turn off the heat and add the green onions, cilantro, lemon juice, black pepper and extra salt if needed. Serve in bowls, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
This week we have butternut squash for everyone. There are two different varieties, so if your squash doesn’t look quite normal, that is why. They will cook the same. They are great roasted, or you can cook them whole and then puree the flesh and use it like canned pumpkin.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup walnuts
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries, chopped
¼ cup sliced red onion
3-4 cups chopped leafy greens
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the butternut squash cubes with the oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until tender. In the same oven, while cooking the squash, toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine cooked squash, nuts, raisins, red onion and greens, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad gently and transfer to a serving platter or bowl and top with the crumbled goat cheese.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul by Ronda May Melendez
Cabbages were in the line-up this week, as there were a few left to harvest. As they came in from the field, we began to remove the very large outer leaves encapsulating the head. Some of those cabbages in their full glory with the larger leaves were beautiful!! I felt quite the vandal, defiling these pieces of art by de-leafing them. They were lovely.
Curiosity set in and I wondered what purpose those giant leaves served in the growth process. So, of course, off I have gone to try to find some answers. Apparently, as little seedlings begin to take hold and grow, the outer leaves protect the more desirable head of the plant, which is what is most sought after as a food source. Sometimes, these large outer leaves are tied tightly together in order to keep pests away from the head so that it grows and fully develops.
What a wonderful picture of those whom the Lord surround us with in life. Those who are “bigger” (e.g. older, wiser, more experienced and who have a keen eye on the horizon) are surrounding those of us who are younger in life and in faith. It is a beautiful thing to know that there is counsel and wise “protection” from those “outer leaves” in life. Especially when they have gone before us, and have experienced a part of life, in which we have not yet experienced full growth. Our little cabbages have taught us an important lesson similar to Proverbs 11:14 which says, “Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
Now, let’s re-word this in a modern, slightly sacrilegious cabbage translation! First Proverb to the Wellspring Charitable Gardens Readership, “Where there is not a large framework for protection, a small cabbage head fails to develop, but in an abundance of outer leaves a healthy head can safely form.”